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New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

SunMax Dead?

I have 3 sites installed about 80 panels, another 20 in stock.  We've had multiple micro-inverter failures on every install, about 15-20%.  Sunlink Design is down and apparently not coming back, Monitoring site is down and not connecting to any of my sites.  

 

The "new" firmware / software looks straight out of 1995.  After manually adding 27 panels worth of mac addresses today, I was finally able to show my customer that their system was generating power, (except for 3 panels - failed micro-inverters.)  Ongoing remote monitoring of the site is no longer possible.  

 

Absolutely ZERO support of this product, it's ridiculous.  Asking here for any suggestions on another vendor that is going to take residential and commercial solar seriously.  I'm currently looking at SolarEdge, any comments?

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-25-2017

Re: SunMax Dead?

[ Edited ]

Hi @wkmullins

 

I'm sorry to hear this failure rate.

About warranty you still can contact our support team, we will do our best to assist you and we can analysis the failure units.

Sunmax is still working and we are focusing on SolarBeam now.

About micro inverter, if you need any technical support you still can ask here 

 

The Solar Gateway has the SOP to update and it's possibile that no need to key in MAC by hands, please refer the SOP:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ouudrzx1bvd8ha5/Gateway%20setting%20for%20Sunmax%20system.pdf?dl=0

New Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎04-26-2017
Kudos: 1

Re: SunMax Dead?

This apparently is how Ubiquiti runs all their product lines.

 

Am really reconsidering their fiber routers now. 

 

Everything seems thrown on the wall waiting to see what sticks.  And you are screwed if you buy a Ubiquiti product that isn't a hit.

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

We've tried contacting support.  Sent emails, no reply.  Not sure technical support on a forum due to equipment failure is what I'd call customer service.  

 

Regarding Sunmax still "working", most everything on the marketing / webpage is now offline, or no longer supported.  Glad to hear you're "focusing on SolarBeam" now.  

 

So here's the question.  On the other customers I have quoted with SunMax, can I just quote them on putting an array of 28 SolarBeams on their roof?  Also will there be a 15-20% failure rate on Solarbeam too?

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-25-2017

Re: SunMax Dead?

@wkmullins

 

SolarBeam is not a power generation to grid product.

It's a product which has the Lithium-Ion 24Ah battery and 2 paris POE supply.

Detail you can ask and check here.

https://community.ubnt.com/t5/SolarBeam/bd-p/SolarBeam-Beta

For application you might not need to have 28 units up.

 

For this failure rate we also feel really high and need to analysis your failure units.

Please contact our RMA team here:

https://www.ubnt.com/support/rma/

 

Please give me your information to my email hyde.chou@ubnt.com when you finished.

I will also ask the RMA colleague to see when we can take the failure units to analysis.

 

Established Member
Posts: 1,101
Registered: ‎08-29-2016
Kudos: 462
Solutions: 49

Re: SunMax Dead?

This thread is absolutely hilarious. Why on earth are you even mentioning SolarBeam on a SunMAX thread? It's like "Our car is still working and we are focusing on hamster wheels". 

 

Yeah he doesn't need 28 of them, he doesn't need a single one, it's absolutely irrelevant for the purpose...,

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

This is some nice customer service.  Virtually discontinue a new product they were SO EXCITED about 12 months ago and now try to sell everyone on SolarBeam.  Why not just build your own SolarBeam for half the price?

 

On the slightly brighter side, spoke with SolarEdge, (they have a phone number) and seems promising.  Sending my some demo units for a couple of large commercial jobs I have coming up.

Established Member
Posts: 1,101
Registered: ‎08-29-2016
Kudos: 462
Solutions: 49

Re: SunMax Dead?

@wkmullins - Regarding the inverters, they were faulty by design as already admitted by UBNT but apparently the guy here is just completely clueless...

 

Hope you can minimize the financial losses on this SNAFU.

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

Yes, I saw they were defective, unfortunately after a bought 100 of them.  I've got $50k in this bullsh*t now.  I'm guessing if they shipped defective inverters, that means the ones that are currently working are probably not going to last for 20 years.  This is going to be a ongoing nightmare.  At least Ubnt is focusing on SolarBeam!

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-25-2017

Re: SunMax Dead?

@doktornotor

 

About UBNT_Sean said:

1. SolarBeam is a solar related product and our team is really working on it.

 

2. The purpose of re-design is that we want to increase our product reliability and solve our factory manufacture issue. 

And just on this factor the failure rate should be not so high to 20%.

 

We will assist you if you have any product questions.

 

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

I have a product question.  

 

When is the cloud SunMax Design and Monitoring software going to be back online?  It was taken down to "fix a security issue".  According to your website https://www.ubnt.com/sunmax/sunmax/   all of this is available and is a major selling point.  I and another sales person working for me have / had numerous customer site designs on there to generate proposals.  When are those going to be available again.  Please forward this on to Ubnt_Sean if needed.  

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎01-25-2017

Re: SunMax Dead?

[ Edited ]

@wkmullins

 

I contacted with our cloud team today:

1. If you have already updated your Solar Gateway to version 1.0.x, that will become local monitor.

Cloud function has some unstable problems now, update to 1.0.7 will be recommended. 

 

2. We are trying to make this design tool to run internally but still need times to make system online.

I will ask cloud team to provide short term / long term solution.

 

Established Member
Posts: 1,101
Registered: ‎08-29-2016
Kudos: 462
Solutions: 49

Re: SunMax Dead?

[ Edited ]

UBNT-Hyde wrote:

@doktornotor

 

1. SolarBeam is a solar related product and our team is really working on it.

 


Yeah, my mobile power bank is a "related product" to a datacenter diesel generator. Dear customer, we're sorry that you suffered a datacenter blackout, the generators are still working but we focus on mobile power banks now. 

 

Guys, you realize that SunMAX is a way too expensive toy be be written off in a year or two, unlike the mFi nerd toys? Can see a bunch of lawsuits starting soon with this kind of customer "support". Get a clue fast. Some suggestions:

 

- Get some serious people with native English command to take care of the customers who invested tens/hundreds thousands of dolars into a product that has a major design defect.

- Fire whomever is responsible for your completely uncommunicative support/RMA dept.

- Hire some security folks since horrible security design is widespread across pretty much every single UBNT product out there

- Put up some official documentation (no, not to Dropbox). The SunMAX product line is virtually non-existent on your website.

- Replace the tools you've been forced to pull/take down due to the usual security SNAFU with utmost urgency since - as mentioned - this was a major selling point of the product. Look, you cannot just tell people who spent $$$$$ "hey sorry guys, the cloud was a security joke, we've taken it down and switched the gear to local only, oooops" without any in-advance planning, like pooof, website gone.

 

Geeeeeeeeeez. WTF.

 

P.S. Any communication strategy that should mitigate the fallout of this fiasco sure like hell does not include statetements like "we are now focusing on another product". Likewise, ignoring emails, forums etc. only drives the unhappy customers even more furious. Doh!

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

1.  I have updated the firmware locally.  Please tell me how I can remotely monitor that for panel / inverter failure.  I provide ACTUAL customer service to my customers.  I appreciate the fact that they have chosen to become my customer.  I sold them on a system that I can remotely monitor for any failures.  

 

2.  I don't know what you're talking about when you say "we're trying to make this system run internally"  It was running fine for a year.  The customer proposal section never worked, but I saw you guys gave up on that early.  I've seen in previous posts that your "short term / long term" solution is to use PVWatts and a spreadsheet.  Please don't post this "solution" again.  It's not a solution.  It's a joke.

 

 

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 404
Registered: ‎09-29-2007
Kudos: 984
Solutions: 11

Re: SunMax Dead?

All -- I agree the situation is unacceptable.  Will review and have an update for this channel next week

New Member
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎04-26-2017
Kudos: 1

Re: SunMax Dead?

THANKS FOR THE ATTENTION.

 

I want to so love everything about Ubiquiti but the whole product line gets confusing to the average newcomer and when whole product lines are left to die off painfully it even gets more confusing.

Ubiquiti Employee
Posts: 404
Registered: ‎09-29-2007
Kudos: 984
Solutions: 11

Re: SunMax Dead?

Updates here:

 

1. We are working to get Cloud based monitoring more stable and support long-term (rather than poor local UI)

 

2. @UBNT-Carlos is SunMax HW lead and will drive any functional issues and RMA/support related issues

 

3. SunMax is far from dead;  we are also expanding the product line to smaller scale PV (SolarBeam) based on demand / customer feedback

 

We will have a new Product Line Manager (Andrejs) starting this week and he will introduce himself in this thread

 

Apologies for the poor support and transparency recently, I realize the siutaiton and we have started making upgrades to the team

New Member
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎03-19-2014
Kudos: 1

Re: SunMax Dead?

Thanks for the update.

 

I'm sure that you are aware that many of us want you to be sucessful in the Sunmax product. We have shown committment to you and you folks need to do the same.

 

This product is not like selling a 30 dollar router. It involves Utility companys, Federal and State incentives and direct involvement to customers that are spending tens of thousands of  dollars at the family level.

 

I guess they are showing committment too.

 

Please let us know the future of Sunmax. I'm a stockholder in your company, and want to continue to support you, but frankly, this particular situation has me concerned about our credibility, and that is at the top of my list.

 

Joe 

Emerging Member
Posts: 87
Registered: ‎02-20-2014
Kudos: 31
Solutions: 2

Re: SunMax Dead?

I'm invested in both UBNT and SolarEdge, and I definitely recommend SolarEdge. From my research they're the technology leader.

IMO it was nuts for UBNT to make their own micro-inverters. These are devices expected to last 20+ years. Companies which specialize in them (like Enphase) have spent years refining them and getting the reliability where it needs to be. Its a commodity business where buyers need assurances they'll still have support decades from now. This is where Enphase and UBNT have trouble - the former may not be in business in a year, and the latter might drop the product line.

 

SunMax was a neat idea and I hope Robert and Andrejs can turn it around, but I'm not holding my breath.

 

New Member
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎04-05-2015
Kudos: 6

Re: SunMax Dead?

Spoke with SolarEdge the last week.  They've sent me a bunch of information I'm now absorbing.  It's just incredible to me that UBNT would commit to a 20 year lifespan product then virtually drop it a year later.

 

Going to try to "retrofit" UBNT panels with SolarEdge Optimizers, I've got 20 panels in stock and a few optimizers on order to play with.  Will update.

 

Just closed a 90 panel installation.  It will be my first with SolarEdge.  

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